Striped Skunk—Mephitis mephitis
Skunks are members of the weasel family; the most common is the striped skunk. They are omnivores, eating insects, small mammals and birds, crustaceans, fruits, grasses, leaves, buds, grains, nuts, and carrion. Insects make up approximately 70% of their diet.
Skunks become pests when their burrowing and feeding habits conflict with humans. They burrow under porches or buildings; they disturb garbage left outdoors; they damage beehives by attempting to feed on bees; they occasionally feed on corn; and, of course, they often leave behind a distinct odor. They are valuable, however, in helping to control insect and rodent populations.
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Identification and Control Information
- Skunks—Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
- Wildlife Damage Control: Skunks (PDF)—Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension
- Vermont Wildlife Fact Sheet: Striped Skunk (PDF)—Vermont Fish & Wildlife
- Wildlife Damage Management Series: Skunks (PDF)—Utah State University Cooperative Extension
- Wildlife Damage Management Fact Sheet Series: Striped Skunks (PDF)—Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Prevention and Control of Wildlife Damage: Skunks (PDF)—Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management
- Preventing and Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife Encounters (PDF)—Ohio Department of Natural Resources
- Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife (PDF)—University of Maryland Cooperative Extension
[Photos: Alfred Viola, Northeastern University, Bugwood.org]